Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) has a question, which he seems to regard as rhetorical: has any “sub-group” contributed to the progress of Western civilization like white people have?

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As the Washington Post reports, this baffled Bartholomew (read: flagrant racist) joined a panel moderated by MSNBC host Chris Hayes to discuss the first day of the Repubican National Convention. Fellow panelist Charles Pierce, from Esquire, critiqued the racial homogeneity of the convention:

“If you’re really optimistic, you can say that this is the last time that old white people will command the Republican party’s attention, it’s platform, it’s public face,” Pierce remarked. “That hall is wired...That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”

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King took issue with Pierce’s observations.

“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” he returned. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any subgroup contribute more to civilization?”

Blessings upon us.

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Hayes, who was visibly thunderstruck, prodded King for confirmation. “Than white people?” he asked.

“Than, than Western civilization itself,” King responded, feebly. “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

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Panelist April Ryan, an African American author, immediately asked, “What about Asia? What about Africa?”

Hayes also reminded King that Western civilization, for all its “flourishing democracy,” also produced Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

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And as for whether other “sub-groups” have contributed to modernity, the Post offers some excellent examples: the dawn of civilization in Mesopotamia, the birth of astronomy, developed by inventors and scientists of Arab and Middle Eastern descent, the inventions of the compass and of engraved printing by the Chinese — and the list continues.

But by now, King is notorious for his racist commentary and politics. He fought the addition of Harriet Tubman to the $20 bill. He has made ludicrously offensive comments about immigrants with “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” After five police officers were killed by a sniper in Dallas, King argued on Twitter that President Obama’s anti-white agenda had inspired the shooter.

So perhaps we should not be so astonished at King’s query. It seems in keeping with his M.O.


Video via YouTube. Image via Twitter.